Tratturello Canosa-Ruvo

Since antiquity, the shepherds of Abruzzo, Molise and Lucania always brought their flocks to pass the winter in milder Puglia. This traditional transhumance underwent a profound change under the Aragonese dominion in southern Italy. A royal charter of customs for the transhumance of sheep was decreed in 1443 which organised the territories allotted for the passage and the pasturing of sheep. Grazing rights were also subject to taxation. Buildings known as ‘poste’ were created at the centre of pastures for the accommodation of groups of shepherds. At a later date, when cereal farming had been introduced and the volume of the tranhumance reduced, these buildings were often redeveloped as farms or “masserie”, with the construction of outbuildings, storage facilities for grain and olive presses for making oil.

Gregge di ovini al pascolo (Foto di Graziana Antolino)